Denver, Colorado is well known for our outdoor lifestyle, a commitment to environmental friendliness and a future minded approach to life. It is no wonder that we are regularly ranked in as one of the most healthiest cities in America. In fact a trip to the local supermarket reveals a wide array of organic and healthy alternatives to processed and mass produced box foods.
However, a few aisles away lay a potentially toxic mixture of chemicals, sprays and wipes destined for our kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. Now before you roll your eyes and start to wonder if perhaps I’m going a bit too far, I’m not saying you have to give up all your normal cleaning products or that you have to radically change your life. However, I have found that most of us already have the ingredients for safe, environmentally friendly cleaners that work just as well, if not better, than the more caustic store bought varieties. In addition, you might be surprised how simple they are to make.
No Chemistry Degree Required
What I find most amazing and exciting is that some of the best natural cleaners are items we have in our homes on a regular basis and they are simple to create. Here are a few of my favorites. Hopefully you will not only find these helpful for your home but will pass on to your friends.
#1 Ultimate Tub Cleaner – Smells Good Too
All this requires is 1-2 grapefruits and about ¼ cup kosher salt. The acid in the grapefruit helps eliminate stains and combined with the salt it makes a great cleanser. If you have a high gloss surface you should test first. Cut the grapefruits in half and add salt. Scrub away. Remember to squeeze to get a little extra juice. Not only will this clean your tub, but it smells great and you don’t have to worry about standing in bleach the next time you shower.
#2 Toilet Cleaning… Ew! Gross!
I have found the average negotiated teen rate for cleaning toilets is approximately $12 million. I have also noticed that when it is time to be done, I somehow manage to be the only person on the planet left with the skills to accomplish the task. I discovered a cleaning solution that makes it “more fun” and lowers the pay rate. It’s simple, use ¼ cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar.
First of all the vinegar is great at removing odors and, while it is a bit strong at first, it dissipates and takes the smell from the room. The cool thing is the chemical reaction from baking soda and vinegar. Pour the baking soda and vinegar into the toilet. It bubbles up and looks really cool, which the kids like. While they are still amazed hand them the toilet brush.
Incidentally, the vinegar – baking soda combination is also great at clearing slow drains. Pour the baking soda down the drain and then add the vinegar. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse with hot water. Works on most clogs and once again is far more cost effective and less harmful.
#3 A Spray For All Around Goodness
One last little recipe that I call “The Wonder Solution.” It too contains vinegar and is another one of my favorites. Fill a spray bottle with ½ water and ½ vinegar. It is the perfect cleanser because it doesn’t leave a residue and does a fantastic job cleaning up grease, soap scum and mildew. In addition, the vinegar removes the unwanted odors. If you want, add some drops of tea tree oil for a little extra boost. No harsh chemicals and it works on almost everything, be careful on marble and stone. Here’s a great video about the wonders of vinegar:
Keep It Clean and Safe
Just because you use safe cleaners doesn’t mean you have to start growing your own food and have chickens in the backyard, although that would be cool as well. However, studies continue to show that the harsh chemicals we use so much can cause very serious health issues. From allergies to burns and even some lung and breathing issues. Start small and try using some healthier and natural alternatives and throw in a few of your own special touches. Not only will you save money, your house will be a healthier environment for the whole family.